EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.02.09

Patents Roundup: OIN, ESP, Microsoft and Apple

Posted in Africa, Apple, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 6:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell soup

PATENTS — and in particular software patents — have become an important issue to Free software. That is because, having already shown superiority in many areas (e.g. Apache on the server, Firefox on the client side), Free software faces injurious intimidation from miserable companies that — failing to compete based on technical merits — resort to litigation or preemptive threat (FUD). Here are some of the latest tidbits to be aware of.

OIN and ESP

The OIN takes a very different approach to that of End Software Patents (ESP). The former uses the patent system to defend against certain software patents, whereas the latter seeks to abolish software patents altogether. OIN is mostly backed by companies that possess software patents (large corporations), whereas the latter caters for small players which long ago realised that this system only serves as a gatekeeper for status quo — one that keeps competition out of the market. It’s not even about Free software; any small played is equally vulnerable and stifled regardless of its attitude towards Freedom. As Marco Schulze from Nightlabs Gmbh put it, “small software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?”

Digital Majority has found something rather interesting. About RMS and his work, said head of the OIN:

Because of the legacy of Richard Stallman in the, when you’re trying to drive a new paradigm it almost requires a certain level of extremism and I think, you know, so I am not in any way saying that Richard Stallman’s view was a defective one given the times but I think a more balanced view that we now have the benefit of time and being able to adopt and take is that it’s not about throwing the baby out with the bathwater, all intellectual property is not bad and to be rejected by the open source community. I am not anti patent, I am clearly focused on improving the quality of patents and ensuring that there is greater granularity in what ultimately does get granted by the patent and trademark offices around the world so that the patent system is back to what it was designed to be.

This is why companies like IBM call it “Linux” and distance themselves from a doctrine of ethics (GNU). They quietly cherish intellectual monopolies on software, despite the fact that there is something inherently flawed in them. The South African press has just published an article which recites the words of Geraldine Fraser Moleketi.

In March 2008, the Third Idlelo Conference on Free and Open Source Software and Digital Commons was held in Dakar, Senegal by the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA). South Africa’s then Minister for Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser Moleketi, stated: “The adoption of open standards by governments is a critical factor in building interoperable information systems which are open, accessible, and fair and which reinforce democratic culture and good governance practices”. The minister further said patents are “exclusive and anticompetitive in their nature” and there is no reason to believe society benefits from monopolies granted on computer program inventions.

It seems clear there is some disunity within government and its agencies, when the Innovation Fund through its funding instruments is urging the filing of patent applications in the ICT sector to enhance economic growth and competitiveness, while on the other hand a government minister suggests that patenting of computer program inventions is undesirable.

Details about this can be found in Tectonic and the video right here in Boycott Novell. We also recommend the new talk from Ciaran O’Riordan regarding software patents. There is a bunch of points in his Web site as well. Georg Greve claimed the other day that “UMTS patent thicket [is] amounting to 10.000 patents, according to France Telecom/Orange.”

Who benefits from this sordid chaos? It is a big maze of unnecessary complexity.

Microsoft and Apple

Someone has found this good page which accumulates information about Microsoft and software patents. Here is a good sample of the type of things Microsoft wants a 20-year monopoly on.

There are many patents held by Microsoft which should have been denied due to the existance of prior art or because they’re self-evident and are not true inventions as defined by U.S. patent law:

* Double-clicking a button (6,727,830)
* Grouping task bar buttons (6,756,999)
* Two-way scroll mouse (6,700,564)
* Task list generated for software developers (6,748,582)
* Using the human body as a conductive medium for power and data (6,754,472) (much prior art done by research labs)
* The equivalent of the sudo Unix command (6,775,781) as old as at least 1980

Mary Jo Foley discusses the novelty of multi-touch because Apple and Microsoft both claim ownerships in the area, despite the fact that neither has really been an inventor. As Bill Gates once said in reference to Xerox (probably the pioneer/inventor of touchscreens too), “Hey, Steve [Jobs], just because you broke into Xerox’s store before I did and took the TV doesn’t mean I can’t go in later and steal the stereo.”

The multi-touch patent game: Who was first?

[...]

While Apple and Palm have tussled over who “owns” multi-touch, Microsoft has kept surprisingly silent.

Apple’s obsession with weird patents has gotten the wrath of The Register yesterday. It was having loads of fun on April 1st.

Another subsection of the filing lists an “electronic device for the inculcation of data-denial modalities among front-line liveware”. This iPod-like device can be securely locked into a trainee’s ear canal, where it will repeat an infinite loop of denial vocabulary until switched off by a prequalified Apple HR officer.

Another joke came from the FFII:

FFII and EPO announce ‘Binaries-As-Prior-Art’

After years of confidential work, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) today announce a radical way to improve software patent quality: Binaries-As-Prior-Art, or BAPA. BAPA combines a database of billions of compiled computer programs (“binaries”) with a powerful Cloud search engine that can find any invention in microseconds.

There is nothing funny about an utterly broken patent system, but good humour on this special day sheds light on obvious problems; it contains or brings out an element of truth.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 8/2/2016: Vista 10 Nags Help GNU/Linux, Nautilus Updated

    Links for the day



  2. The European Patent Office “is Acting as Though the Law Does Not Apply to It.”

    An article from Nieuwsuur which provides the words of Liesbeth Zegveld (for SUEPO) and Guillaume Minnoye (for the European Patent Office), reaffirming the EPO's bizarre notion that it is above the law, even in the face of human rights violations and a court ruling against the EPO



  3. Microsoft-Connected FRAND Lobbying (Software Patents Against Free/Open Source Software) in Brussels

    Anti-Free/Open Source software (FOSS) talking points and FRAND (anti-FOSS) lobbying groups in Brussels as seen by proponents of FRAND, who also worked for Microsoft



  4. Latest Propaganda From the EPO's Management an Effort to Make the EPO the Tool of Megacorporations

    A quick roundup of some of the latest spin and paid-for (bought) coverage that helps introduce a distorted patent system whose beneficiaries are not European (or even people)



  5. 'Aversion to Change' Propaganda From the EPO Echoes or Parrots Lenin and Stalin

    The out-of-control EPO management is trying to fool the media by blaming staff representatives for getting fired, simply because they stood up to a highly abusive and megalomaniacal dictator



  6. The Gates Foundation Subjected to Criticism, But Over a Decade Too Late

    Reckoning and accepting the fact that even some in the media now openly speak about Bill Gates' corrupting influence in everything, including politics



  7. Links 8/2/2016: Zenwalk 8.0 Beta 2, Q4OS 1.4.7

    Links for the day



  8. SIPO (China's Patent Office) Taken Over by Patent Maximalists

    A look at China's race to the bottom (decline in quality) when it comes to patents, assuming quite wrongly that quantity is more important than quality and severe penalties for perceived infringement will spur innovation



  9. The Alice Case Continues to Smash Software Patents (This Time OpenTV's); Will the EPO Ever Pay Attention?

    The potency or the grip of software patents in the United States is quickly eroding, but the EPO continues to act as though software patents are legitimate



  10. EPO Staff Responds to Team Battistelli's Expansion to Include French Economic Propagandist on the Payroll

    With strings attached (like string puppets of Battistelli in various units including the Investigative Unit), can the new Chief Economist, who is French and paid by Battistelli, ever be trusted?



  11. UPC: To Understand Who Would Benefit From It Just Look at Who's Promoting It (Like TPP)

    The UPC, which is designed to aid patent trolls and aggressors (and their lawyers), is still being advanced by the EPO and some misinformed (but loyal to these former groups) politicians



  12. Trolls Molestos: Rovi (del famoso Angry Birds) Ayuda al Más Largo Troll de Patentes de Microsoft Intellectual Ventures (Corregido)

    Alguna vez conocido como hacedor de juegos y más tarde como vigilancia en masa en jugadores, Rovi ahora se ESTA ALIANDO CON EL MÁS GRANDE TROLL DE PATENTES



  13. Estadísticas de Invalidación de Patentes y Costos de Litigación de Patentes (incluso si son falsas) Muestran que la Esfera de Patentes y los Estándares de Examinación son un Probleman, No Sólo en Los Estados Unidos

    Demasiadas falsas patentes que no deberían haber sido otorgadas en primer lugar y fraudulentes jucios de patentes que terminan en favor del acusado sirve para mostrar el costo externo (o externalidad) cuando set trata de un bajisímo sistema de patentes que se esfuerza en otorgar muchas patentes irrespectivamente de su mérito.



  14. The 'Offenses' of EPO Staff Representatives Boil Down to Truth-Telling

    Dutch television examined the documents of the mock 'trials' against SUEPO leaders and concluded that whistle-blowing (i.e. exposing abuses by EPO management), not misconduct, is the reason for overzealous dismissals



  15. Rumours About Dismissal of Benoît Battistelli and New Letter From Union Syndicale Federale Blasting Battistelli's Behaviour

    hings have been heating up since the dismissal of staff representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO) and some even spread rumours about withdrawal/dismissal of the EPO's President



  16. VirnetX Case Against Apple Shows Not the Problem With Patent Trolls But With Software Patents

    What the media really ought to be talking about after the high-profile VirnetX case, rather than obsess about the status of Apple or patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas



  17. Diápositivas de Nueva Charla Explican la Connección Entre la Corte De Patentes Unitarias (UPC) y Patentes de Software

    Benjamín Henrion habló el pasado Domingo acerca de las patentes de software europeas -una presentación que habla de la Corte Unitaria de Patentes, por la que la OEP aboga sin cesar y que es lo que significa para las patentes de software.



  18. Las Políticas de Microsoft Alienan Incluso a los Hinchas Más Acérrimos de Microsoft, Incluyendo Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    El agresivo comportamiento de Microsoft y su BAJA CALIDAD DE PRODUCTOS dejan algunos de sus últimos restos de ´hinchas´ descorazonados y molestos.



  19. Links 6/2/2016: CoreOS Rocket 1.0, Scientific Linux 7.2

    Links for the day



  20. Maybe It's Time for Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft for Forced Vista 10 'Upgrades', Which Were Definitely No Accident

    The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people's computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility



  21. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part II)

    Željko Topić's allegedly dark background, which includes a suicide, a retreat of potential witnesses, German funds in Topić's private bank account and several more interesting bits



  22. Links 5/2/2016: Wine 1.9.3, Slackware 14.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  23. Links 4/2/2016: Red Hat Upgraded, Ubuntu Tablet

    Links for the day



  24. The Siege Continues: Patent Lawyers Want More Patents, Including Software Patents, In Spite of Alice

    Lawyers who make money from patent disputes make rather apparent their aspirations, which include patent saturation even in domains that are patents-exempt



  25. European Patent Office Pretends It's Business as Usual and Prepares New Vanity Pieces

    The PR strategy of the EPO, whose destructive patent strategy continues unabated (for now), latches onto Colombia and strives to manufacture mythology wherein the public, patent examiners and patent applicants are all very happy with the EPO



  26. The 'International' Trade Commission Imposes/Reinforces Software Patents to Establish Another Embargo

    The International [sic] Trade Commission is meddling in competition and allowing a US giant, Cisco in this case, to potentially block rivals (no imports from abroad) using software patents



  27. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part I)

    The views of some of our readers regarding reluctance in the German media to challenge the EPO's violations of German law, probably because Germany benefits from being a host nation of the EPO



  28. Benoît Battistelli's EPO: From Show Trials and Mock Trials to a Self-Aggrandising Propaganda Event Later Today in Rijswijk

    A headsup from a reader regarding today's highly misleading event in Rijswijk (e.g. to mislead the media or seed positive media coverage in the Netherlands) and how it was set up



  29. Caricature of the Day: EPO President

    New caricature about Benoît Battistelli, his bodyguards, and the assault on free speech at the European Patent Office



  30. Company Known as European Patent Office Provides Tips on How to Patent Software in Europe

    The European Patent Office (EPO) uses its attendance at CeBIT, which is a corporate expo, to promote software patents in spite of the European Patent Convention (EPC)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts